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or buying the airplane in the years to come. this allows us to communicate that difference in washington, d.c., to the decision-makers on the program. host: you have visits from members of congress as well. what is the purpose for them to see the center? guest: they can fly the simulator and they can see the technology and the jobs. f-35 has 125,000 direct and indirect jobs, building the f- 35. these are high tech aerospace jobs that will be part of our aerospace industry for years and years to come. they are building high technology avionics. they are doing things with software that make this a next- generation airplane. they are also building it for airport. we have about $50 billion of export value. host: let's talk about the history and the goals of the f- 35. what is its mission?when did it begin? guest: the program was built to recapitalize the fighter forces that are out there today. look at the last 20 years of operations, whether it is bosnia or libya. --ghter aviation enables air maritime operations and land operations. our fighter force is getting older. we have 40% less fighters
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